Vegan Doc Martens – A Makeover for the ’90s Rebel Classic

Do you ever look back on your youth and remember all the cute looks you wore in high school? Probably not too often, if you’re anything like me. I was a fashion nightmare back then, and my wardrobe was mostly made up of Goodwill and bad choices.  But my Doc Martens (technically, Dr. Martens, but who says that?) are something I still don’t regret.

Doc Martens and the Rebel Ethos

I still remember the bounce they put in my step. They made me feel invincible (or was that just being young?), and just a tiny bit rebellious. I grew up in Seattle in the ’90s, so Docs were pretty much a grunge uniform (together with thrifted plaid shirts and an  expression of casual ennui).

Of course, in spite of the bounce, the stiff sole also kind of destroyed the muscles in my feet and ankles. After a few months of wear, my feet were so crippled, I pretty much couldn’t walk without them. But it wasn’t a problem, because I wore them every day.

At University in the 2000s, I still hadn’t abandoned my Docs. I still remember a beleaguered roommate trying to tell me that no, combat boots did not go with dresses. Bless her heart, but I totally ignored her.
doc martens with dress

The High Price of Nostalgia

Apparently I’m not the only child of the ’90s suffering from fashion amnesia. I see Converse and Doc Martens everywhere these days – even toddlers are wearing them! The New York Times reported last year that high-end designers are creating Doc-inspired boots at outrageous prices (I’m sorry, but $1400 Dolce and Gabbana combat boots seem insane).
I’m not much for nostalgia (I’m a modern vegan, after all!), but there is something to be said for the basic Doc Martens combat boot. Did you know the design was originally developed to help the maker, Dr. Martens, recover from a broken foot? Not surprising, since they keep your foot pretty much immobilized! I don’t think they thought too much about how helpful the design was for healthy feet, but I digress.
But now I even have a good excuse for buying a pair. Whereas the old Docs were most definitely NOT vegan, Doc Martens has conveniently created a number of vegan options just to tempt me. They look every bit as good as the originals, and I like the idea of not having decomposing leather lying on my shoe rack (every Doc owner knows the odour of which I speak).
I really should resist, but my resolve is weakening. I guess even the most modern of us isn’t immune to a little nostalgia.

What do you think? Join the conversation!

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